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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, help me figure out how this whole bar exam thing works! I wasn't planning on taking the bar because I live in a state that has diploma privilege, but it looks like I'm moving and now I have to get the bar exam business sorted ASAP and I don't know where to start, and I'm all twitterpated about it.<br><br>
First, should I register to be admitted in the state I'm currently in? I have all the credits and classes, I would just need to pay $300-ish dollars and fill out the character and fitness forms and they'd admit me. The state we're moving to is across the country from where we are now (We're currently in Wisconsin, and we're moving to the Pacific Northwest), so it's not like applying in the next state over or anything.<br><br>
Second, I can still (barely) register for the MPRE in March. Do I need to take it right now to be eligible for the summer bar, or can I take it later? Can I take it after the bar? What is ON the MPRE anyway? How much studying, realistically, will I need to do to pass it?<br><br>
Third, How did you study for the bar? What worked? What totally didn't? And where did you get your study materials. To be honest, $2300 for BarBri classes just isn't in our budget unless I sell my body for medical research or something, so I need other options. I'm thinking about picking up the BarBri books on ebay and doing a self-study. Is this a craptastic idea?
 

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I think I would first check to see if there is reciprocal admission between Wisconsin and the state you are moving to. I <i>think</i> some of the states have this, but then I could just be hallucinating.<br><br>
I took barbri - I think we got a loan or something for it. We must have, because I don't know how else I would have afforded it. Sorry, but we are talking over ten years ago, so my memory is a bit dim. I do remember that the nice BarBri people scared the living crap out of me because I failed each and every practice test they gave us. And passed the bar. I don't know if the fear was the best motivator for me, as is sometimes the case, or if I would have passed anyway just using the materials. I am not sure I would have studied as hard, or gotten the IRAC concept drilled into my brain quite so thoroghly, without the class.<br><br>
Best of luck to you! I do still remember that awesome feeling of passing the bar - I called everyone I knew and posted the pass notice on my office door for months! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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OK - I took the bar in 1996, so my memory may be a bit foggy and things may have changed, so take this for what it is worth.<br><br>
First of all, yes - you do have to sit for the MPRE - at least in my states (NY and MA) they are a condition for admission. I took it before I took the bar exam just to get it out of the way. It wasn't too tough, and I took a course which I got for free from BarBri when I enrolled for the state bar review course. I studied for about a week, and passed the first time. The MPRE is ethics stuff - don't sleep with your clients, don't co-mingle funds, etc.<br><br>
Second - I would apply to get admitted to your state. It may be that the state you are moving to has reciprocity (you would have to call the board that licenses attorneys in that state to find out.) Even if they do not, you might have to explain why you didn't get admitted - and that might be more hassle than its worth.<br><br>
I studied for the bar the summer after I graduated from law school. As I said, I took the state specific course, and worked those practice questions (for both state specific and multi-state) like mad. I think I studied every day, but still had a life until about a month before the exam. (For the first month, the class was half a day, and then I would study for half a day) As for how I did the two state thing - NY required me to sit for the multistate in NY, so Day 1 was NY local (essays), Day 2 was multistate, I flew back to MA, and Day three was MA local. I basically studied for NY, and then studied a "NY-MA distinctions" outline I also purchased from Bar-Bri.<br><br>
In a nutshell, you really have to work to pass, but I didn't find it an impossible amount of work, fwiw. Good luck!
 

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you can take the MPRE after you take the bar.<br>
i'd definitely apply to be admitted in WI -- I doubt you'll be able to waive in to wherever you're moving, but you might, and it's not like it'll hurt.<br>
you can get loans for bar/bri, i would really suggest looking into this. they give lots of tips for studying and analyzing the questions and it was really helpful to me.<br>
its a lot of work to be adequately prepared, i found that the days i had review classes i was more likely to really study and stick to it rather than thinking i'd get around to it later.<br>
good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I found that the same study habits that got me through law school, got me to pass the bar. My friends who studied until midnight during law school, did the same for the bar and passed. And I, who had a very short attention span, studied until 4 or 5 (starting at 10 with a lunch break) and passed.<br><br>
I did BarBri, and MicroMash.
 

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I thought the absolute best material for the multi-state was PMBR - it's less expensive and you learn the most just by doing practice sessions on your own. I did 50 practice questions/day and went over the explanations for each question - it's a great learning process.<br><br>
For the state portion, instead of doing Bar/Bri could you find a private tutor? I think the materials are way too voluminous from Bar/Bri. I found a tutor here in MA that specialized in the state portion. She could condense subjects into really short outlines, had copies of old exam questions and knew certain patterns that always appear. For example, there is always a question about a negligent lawyer.<br><br>
Also, for the MPRE, the best way to practice is to take the old exams - there are always repeat questions.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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1. no, don't pay the $ to wisc. i am admitted in 3 states, but only need one, and i find the fees and different cle requirements to be more than its worth.<br><br>
2. i took the mpre cold and passed. i was only halfway through my required ethics/prof's responsibility class in law sch at the time. i think it would have behooved me to have finished it first, but oh well. note that different states have widely divergent scores that are needed to pass -- check yours out to determine whether you need to study. i knew no one who studied more than half an hour for it (i think with practice tests?), and everyone passed. i am not sure if you need to take the mpre before the bar -- our law sch kind of just railroaded us all into the mpre first as a matter of course.<br><br>
3. ok, i took the bar once for ny and ma and once for pa. for my first i took barbri -- used up savings to do it -- then it was only $1,000. i think you can get a non-trivial discount if you are a barbri representative or something, and/or if you register early. i didn't start studying aside from the classes until the month of the bar (july), so i put in a month of studying, with a 2+ hour break each day. i passed with much to spare; i think just sitting in the classes (videos) helped me absorb so much. it was a totally different ball of wax than what i learned in law sch. the second time, i was working, and emotionally invested in a case that was pending before the s.ct. and didn't take the days off offered me. so i took only sat, sun, and mon to study with a classmate's barbri books. there were 2 essays on tax, about which i knew nothing, so it wasn't pretty, but i pulled through. i think the important thing to remember about the bar was that you only have to pass, not get an a, so it's not worth it to put in the extra effort. then again, i frankly never seriously considered the possibility of failing. now i know lots of folks who did, and i might approach it with more caution.
 

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Like a PP, I took the MPRE halfway through my ethics class in law school. It was no big deal.<br><br>
I took the bar review course before taking my state's bar exam (SC in 1996 - two days of essay questions and the one-day multistate exam) and was taking the bar exam the summer after I graduated. I was so nervous I broke out in hives the night before the test. During the test I was convinced I had failed it. Happily, I didn't!<br><br>
I took the NC bar exam a year later. I borrowed someone's review materials and studied on my own. I was sooo much more relaxed about this test (also, passed this one).<br><br>
I would find out if the state you are moving to has any reciprocity with your current state. If so, I'd get admitted. If not, I'd figure out if you might ever want to practice law in your current state. Paying dues and meeting CLE requirements for an extra state is a PITA, but might be worth it if you think you could be moving back one day, or moving to any other state that has reciprocity with your current one).<br><br>
Good luck with everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After taking a gander at the ABA reciprocity chart, it looks like I wouldn't be eligible for reciprocity in either of the states I want to pracitice in. Nor, likley, would I be eligible for admission on motion because they don't offer that to people who were originally admitted based on diploma privilege.<br><br>
I know that I have no interest in practicing in this state, ever. I'd rather work retail anywhere else than come back here and practice law. I've really grown to hate and despise the midwest. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> So I think the work of maintaining my license might be more than it's worth as far as getting licensed here?
 
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